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2017 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational: Knockout Stage Preview

Four teams remain in the 2017 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational, SK Telecom T1, Team WE, G2 Esports, and Flash Wolves and it will only get more interesting from here as the Knockout Stage begins.

After playing five days of best-of-one games, the remaining four teams will be competing in a best-of-five format. SK Telecom T1 will be facing the Flash Wolves while the Team WE will be facing G2 Esports, the winners of which will play in the Finals.

 

SK Telecom T1 vs. Flash Wolves

If there’s one team that may have a chance at taking down the defending MSI champions, SK Telecom T1, it’s the Flash Wolves. They’ve shown this in the Group Stage after they gave SK Telecom T1 their first loss in what was a convincing performance from the ‘Korean Killers’.

(L-R) SwordArT, Maple, MMD, Karsa, Betty.   

The Flash Wolves may not win the bottom lane nor the top lane but they can win from the mid lane and jungle duo of Huang “Maple” Yi-Tang and Hung “Karsa” Hau-Hsuan. Karsa’s aggressive plays helps free up the different lanes, whether it be the side lanes or in mid. While Maple’s willingness to help the side lanes may just give the Flash Wolves the edge.

(L-R) Wolf, Peanut, Bang, Huni, Faker, Blank

SK Telecom T1 on the other hand will have to weather the storm of the Flash Wolves or just deny them a good early lead. They’ll have to look to Peanut’s aggression to stop the early pressure from the Flash Wolves. SKT will have to look to their jungler, Han “Peanut” Wang-ho in being able to keep Karsa down. But they will surely look towards the guidance of their veteran coach, Kim “KkOma” Jeong-gyun in adjusting throughout the series as they have in the past.

Lee Sin and Graves will surely be contested champions for Karsa and Peanut, especially with Peanut’s 4-0 record on the Lee Sin. While SKT will definitely have to ban out or pick Maple’s Taliyah and Ryze, both of which have been instrumental in some of their victories.

Flash Wolves on the other hand will have to find an answer for Bang’s Twitch which he’s played four times and won all four times.

 

Fearless forecast: SK Telecom T1 3-2 Flash Wolves

 

Team WE vs. G2 Esports

Unlike the first semifinal matchup, the second semifinal between Team WE and G2 Esports will be interesting not because of a difference in play but instead, because of the similarities that the two teams share.

(L-R) Condi, 957, Ben , xiye, Zero, Mystic

Both teams rely on the synergy between their mid laner and jungler to either create space or assist the other lanes. As far as stats in the tournament goes, it seems like Team WE’s Su “xiye” Han-Wei and Xiang “Condi” Ren-Jie have performed better than Luka “Perkz” Perkovic and Kim “Trick” Kang Yoon up to this point. With xiye and Condi sitting at 8th and 19th in Overall KDA Ratio as compared to Perkz’ and Trick’s 44th and 64th KDA Ratio.

It doesn’t help G2’s case that WE’s top laner Ke “957” Changyu has also outperformed G2’s top laner Ki “Expect” Dae-han.

(L-R) Coach YoungBuck, Expect, Perkz, mithy, Trick, Zven

It isn’t to say that Team WE has showed weaknesses of their own especially with overstaying in the early to mid game. G2 is no stranger to capitalizing on their opponents’ mistakes and should Team WE make similar mistakes in their losses in the Group Stage, this may just be what G2 need to get a lead or win a game.

G2 will have to deny Lee Sin from Condi especially since Trick has shown to be quite uncomfortable on the Blind Monk and Taliyah from Xiye, who uses the Stone Weaver to give his side lanes a helping hand.

Both teams will surely want to show the world and their regions their prowess on the Rift especially with this being the furthest that either team has been in Mid-Season Invitational.

 

Fearless forecast: Team WE 3-1 G2 Esports

 

 

 

All team photos courtesy of lolesports Flickr

 

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